February 25, 2013

Advanced Book Search

I'm always a bit surprised when I see someone do a search online and be disappointed to get either too few results or, more likely, too many irrelevant results. Most search sites have an "advanced search" feature which often solves those issues and others.

In another context, I wrote about using Google for better search. That's useful for yourself and something anyone who teaches should make sure their students know and use.

But here I just want to mention a more literary search. If you use Amazon to find books, you should also know about and use their advanced search feature.

Start by going to the Advanced Search on Amazon. From there I could set up a search for "poetry" in the literature section and limit my results to those for "teens" published after 1970 and available in paperback format as a way to set up an order for my classroom library.

Looking for a series of exact titles from your 20th Century American Literature syllabus? Enter all the ISBNs in the 'ISBN' field, with a '|' (pipe) between each one.(The "pipe" character is a rarely used one - it's on the same key as the \ character on the right side of a QWERTY keyboard)  So, a search on  9780140285000 | 9780743273565 | 9780061120060 will give those exact 3 titles.

Amazon's advanced search also works for music, TV, movies, magazines and toys and games.

1 comment:

Jessica Lynn Lang said...

Thanks for the advice. I wasn't aware of the advanced search capability.